Atomistic simulations of focused ion beam machining of strained silicon

J Guenole and A Prakash and E Bitzek, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 416, 86-95 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2017.04.027

focused ion beam (FIB) technique has established itself as an indispensable tool in the material science community, both to analyze samples and to prepare specimens by FIB milling. In combination with digital image correlation (DIC), FIB milling can, furthermore, be used to evaluate intrinsic stresses by monitoring the strain release during milling. The irradiation damage introduced by such milling, however, results in a change in the stress/strain state and elastic properties of the material; changes in the strain state in turn affect the bonding strength, and are hence expected to implicitly influence irradiation damage formation and sputtering. To elucidate this complex interplay between strain, irradiation damage and sputtering, we perform TRIM calculations and molecular dynamics simulations on silicon irradiated by Ga+ ions, with slab and trench-like geometries, whilst simultaneously applying uniaxial tensile and compressive strains up to 4%. In addition we calculate the threshold displacement energy (TDE) and the surface binding energy( SBE) for various strain states. The sputter rate and amount of damage produced in the MD simulations show a clear influence of the strain state. The SBE shows no significant dependence on strain, but is strongly affected by surface reconstructions. The TDE shows a clear strain-dependence, which, however, cannot explain the influence of strain on the extent of the induced irradiation damage or the sputter rate. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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